COYOTES (17-9-4) at PENGUINS (15-9-4)
7 p.m. ET; ESPN+, ATTSN-PT, FS-A, FS-A PLUS, NHL.TV
Phil Kessel will play for the Arizona Coyotes against the Pittsburgh Penguins for the first time at PPG Paints Arena on Friday.
Kessel spent four seasons with the Penguins, including Stanley Cup championships in 2016 and 2017, but was traded to the Coyotes on June 29. He has 17 points (six goals, 11 points) in his first 30 games, including two goals in a 3-1 win against the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday.
The Coyotes, who are first in the Pacific Division, have won their past two games and eight of their past 13 (8-3-2). It is the second time in Coyotes/Winnipeg Jets history they've led their division through 30 games, and the first time since 1991-92 when the franchise was in Winnipeg. It moved to Arizona in 1996.
Penguins defenseman Justin Schultz was activated from injured reserve and will be a game-time decision. He's missed seven games with a lower-body injury.
Pittsburgh is on a nine-game home point streak (7-0-2), its longest since winning 11 straight at home from Jan. 7-Feb. 17, 2018.
Players to watch
Coyotes forward Christian Dvorak has six points (two goals, four assists) during an NHL career-long five-game point streak.
Penguins forward Alex Galchenyuk will face the Coyotes for the first time since being part of the Kessel trade. He has 10 points (two goals, eight assists) in 19 games.
They said it
"[Kessel is] going to get a nice ovation. Pittsburgh fans love him." -- Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet
"It's definitely going to be weird to have [Kessel] not be in the black and gold." -- Penguins forward Bryan Rust
Coyotes projected lineup
Clayton Keller -- Derek Stepan -- Vinnie Hinostroza
Christian Dvorak -- Nick Schmaltz -- Conor Garland
Lawson Crouse -- Carl Soderberg -- Phil Kessel
Michael Grabner -- Brad Richardson -- Christian Fischer
Oliver Ekman-Larsson -- Jason Demers
Jakob Chychrun -- Alex Goligoski
Jordan Oesterle -- Ilya Lyubushkin
Scratched: Aaron Ness, Barrett Hayton, Michael Chaput
Injured: Niklas Hjalmarsson (lower body)
Penguins projected lineup
Jake Guentzel -- Evgeni Malkin -- Bryan Rust
Dominik Kahun -- Jared McCann -- Stefan Noesen
Zach Aston-Reese -- Teddy Blueger -- Brandon Tanev
Alex Galchenyuk -- Sam Lafferty -- Dominik Simon
Jack Johnson -- Kris Letang
John Marino -- Justin Schultz
Marcus Pettersson -- Chad Ruhwedel
Scratched: Joseph Blandisi, Juuso Riikola
Injured: Sidney Crosby (core muscle surgery), Nick Bjugstad (core muscle surgery), Brian Dumoulin (ankle surgery), Patric Hornqvist (lower body)
Ekman-Larsson is expected to play. He missed the final 2:23 against the Flyers on Thursday after being checked into the boards by Philadelphia forward Kevin Hayes. ... Rust (lower body) will be a game-time decision. Defenseman Zach Trotman was sent to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League.
Stepan, who needs one assist to reach 300 in the NHL, will play his 700th NHL game. ... Keller has four points (one goal, three assists) during a three-game point streak. ... The Penguins are 6-0-1 against the Coyotes since a 2-1 loss Oct. 10, 2015.